Seven Ways to Improve Your SAT Score

As you start the college search and application process, a key element in this endeavor is preparing for and taking the college entrance exam – the SAT. We’ve compiled a list of 7 things that you can do to improve your test scores and improving the odds of being accepted into the college of your choice.

1. Take a practice test.

The College Board has published eight SAT exams previously given which are available to the public. You can download these tests along with answer keys and explanations directly from the College Board’s website. Most test prep companies offer free, fully proctored practice tests to simulate actual testing conditions. Berkshire Test Prep offers full-length practice tests each Saturday. The more practice tests you can take, the better prepared you will be for the rigors of test day.

2. Obtain a Diagnostic Score Report of your practice test.

Most test prep companies offer score reports, although the contents and price may differ from company to company. The diagnostic score report covers every question on the test, showing the right and wrong answers. It also pinpoints strengths and weaknesses in each section, highlighting areas that can be improved on through intensive study or tutoring. At Berkshire Test Prep, you can schedule an appointment to review the score report with one of our experts.

3. Complete Algebra II before taking the SAT.

Algebra makes up approximately 62% of math content on the SAT. In comparison, Geometry is only about 6% of math content.

4. Complete test prep before taking the official SAT.

Whether you self-prep, take SAT test prep classes or do one-on-one tutoring, complete at least one of these before taking the SAT for the first time. While most colleges super score multiple test results, you don’t want to run the risk of under-performing because you weren’t fully prepared. You should never take the official test just to see what you score. Better to take several practice tests instead.

5. Find the right Prep for you.

There are considerable resources available to students wishing to prepare for the SAT. The College Board provides access through the Khan Academy for students that would like to prep on their own. The College Board also publishes the Official SAT Study Guide (Blue book), which includes all eight practice tests. Most high schools and some test prep companies offer test prep classes with class sizes ranging from 2 to 25 students. Some of the best results come from one-on-one tutoring which is also available through test prep companies such as Berkshire Test Prep.

6. Retention, retention, retention!

If you plan on taking the SAT more than once, schedule them back-to-back so you can retain as much information as possible. For example, test dates this fall/winter are 10/5, 11/2, and 12/7 with the next date being 3/14/20. If you took the SAT in October and November, you would still have four weeks between tests for additional prep.

7. Take the ACT instead.

I know…these tips should be about ways to improve your SAT score. The reality is that colleges accept either the SAT or ACT in the admissions process. In fact, the number of college applicants taking the ACT has surpassed SAT takers annually since 2014. If unsure, take full-length practice SAT and ACT tests on consecutive weekends. The resulting composite scores and score reports (optional) should help you determine which test is better suited for you.

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